In an effort to stop the show's declining ratings, Days of our Lives is focusing on some of the show's most popular characters in its upcoming stories. That change means that Joseph Mascolo will be returning to reprise the role of Stefano DiMera -- and the rest of the DiMera clan isn't far behind.
) has signed on to return to Days of our Lives next month. The news comes nearly six months after
the actor nixed a return to the NBC soap because contract talks had reached an impasse.
When talks broke down last year, a show source indicated that the sticking point in the talks was the term of Mascolo's contract. Mascolo had wanted to return to work in a long-term storyline. Show execs, however, only wanted Mascolo to return for a short-term engagement. This time around the term of Mascolo's contract with Days of our Lives was not revealed. It is, however, known that the actor will be with the show through at least the summer.
Determined to tell a story with or without Mascolo, DAYS' scribes last year penned a story for Stefano but limited the character's on-screen exposure to shots that did not show the character's face.
After leaving Days of our Lives, Mascolo surprised many by joining the cast of CBS's The Bold and the Beautiful in August 2001
. Last year, however, Mascolo and B&B reached a stalemate during contract talks and the actor opted to leave the show. Again Mascolo cited his lack of work as the reason for his departure.
"Joe has not been happy with the direction of his character and the lack of story [for Massimo]," a setside source told soap
at the time.
Mascolo returns to Days of our Lives on June 6th. He appeared previously appeared from 1982 to 1985, returned briefly in 1988 before making a permanent return in 1993 and exited the show in 2001.